Bloemfontein Celtic upset Soweto Giants Orlando Pirates 1-0 in the Absa Premiership on Wednesday at the Free State Stadium. The Free State Cheetahs were in the stands to cheer on their fellow Bloemfonteiners, who won courtesy of a 74th minute strike by Vuyani Ntanga to earn Siwelele their first points of the season. It was a lively start to the game in the City of Roses as an effort from Pirates was cleared off the line in the first minute of the first half.
It was end-to-end action and Phunya Sele Sele were looking dangerous on the counter attack. In the 14th minute good combination play on the edge of the box created space for Dumisani Zuma but the midfielder could not keep his shot on target. Clinton Larsen’s team continued to grow in confidence as the half went on and came close again in the 30th minute as a shot deflected off Geoffrey Massa and went just wide of Siyabonga Mphontsane’s goal.
The Buccaneers had a quiet first half and were in trouble in the second stanza when Geoffrey Massa looked dangerous in the opening minutes of the second period but failed to capitalise on his chances. Massa’s counterpart Kermit Erasmus was equally wasteful at the other end as he headed straight into the hands of Bongani Mpandle. In the 62nd minute Larsen decided to opt for a different option in attack and Massa was replaced by Lerato Lamola.
Despite Lamola’s introduction, it was Ntanga with a deadly finish in the 74th minute that would secure the three points for Celtic. Eric Tinkler’s team put up a good fight as the second period came to a close but the game ended 1-0 in favor of their opponents. Larsen’s lads next face the Sea Robbers’ bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the semi finals of the MTN8 and they will be hoping for a similar outcome.